The family of the soldier who was murdered in Thursday’s vehicular attack told the minister of defense on Friday that they expected their son’s killer never to be released from prison.
The family of 20-year-old Sgt. Elchai Teharlev spoke with Avigdor Lieberman in person when he came to visit them during the ritual, week-long period of Jewish mourning. They said that the terrorist, Malak Hamed, exited his car with his hands raised knowing that the soldiers present at the junction would not kill him, and muttered that he was sorry. “We expect him to rot in jail,” they told Lieberman.
The family gathered in their home in the West Bank settlement of Talmon to share stories of the lost loved one. His mother, Avital, said that on the day before her son was ruthlessly mowed down, she had spoken with him at length while he was in Amona. Avital, who was passing through nearby Ofra, planned to visit her son, but didn’t make it in the end.. “Now I understand what a large opportunity I missed,” she said.
Family members said that when he was murdered, Teharlev had been on his way to visit a friend with a cup of coffee. His mother added, “He was murdered with a cup of coffee in his hand, which is so characteristic of Elchai: a boy who always takes everything easily and calmly… a child who loved the natural landscape and especially springs.
“Yesterday when we were on our way to the funeral, and we had half an hour, so we went to the spring and we wrote the eulogies there.”
Eitam, Elchai’s brother, recounted, “When we heard about the incident, my father and mother knew immediately. It was some kind of parents’ intuition. It pains me that we’ve joined the circle of bereaved families.”
The youngest brother, Matanya, shared, “There wasn’t a day when we didn’t fight. We always quarreled in the room over the air conditioner. What I remember about him is his quiet and relaxed nature.”
A joint task force of the IDF, Shin Bet, and Israel and Border Police raided the homes of Malak Hamed's extended family on Thursday night in Silwad. The terrorist’s brother was arrested, and 6 stolen vehicles were seized along with NIS 40,000 that served to fund terrorism.
(Translated and edited by J. Herzog)